Boring, insipid, and nowhere near the par of her normally excellent Lady Julia novels. This is a very short Christmas novella that is lighter than light, with not much plot, and some very forgettable new characters in a supporting cast. And, lest I forget to mention, some rather annoying family members. Their appearance in the normal novels are bad enough, which is a testament to Deanna Raybourn's ability to write believable characters, but in the family gathering in which this book takes place, they seem to grate on one's nerves so much more (as times spent with one's family generally do in real life). For example, I find myself wanting to strangle Jane the Younger, so annoying is she, despite the fact that she is but an infant.If nothing else, Deanne Raybourn excels in writing in characters that one wants to kill (or punt, in the case of Portia's disgustingly flatulent pug) despite the lack of their skill of speech. There is no real mystery plot, it's just a holiday family get-together, and a real one might be less painful to attend than to read in this sorry excuse of a novella. If you must read some Christmas novels related to a late Victorian series, I would suggest Anne Perry instead.